Thursday, February 21, 2008


We're still talking about our tag team status and nothing has been decided. Remember what I said about us being master procrastinators in this house? Yeah, it's for real.

More and more I'm thinking that I could and should become a stay at home mom. I don't have the passion for my work that I once did. The hours can be a killer. Maternity leave has given me a chance to get reacquainted with the best husband in the world. I'm learning to love the time I spend at home with the Bug and Dos is finally starting to emerge from the squirmy-sleep-all-the-time-not-much-fun infant stage.

BUT....I've been earning my own money since I was 14. I've been working on my career since I was 17. I've been in my current job for 10 years. I've been in the industry for 20. I have a fantastic retirement plan and good benefits. I really, really, really like my team at work. That kind of stuff makes it hard to just pick up and walk away. Makes it hard for me, anyway.

The only person to comment on my last question opined that I might be suffering from post-partum depression. Don't think it hasn't occurred to me, too. I see my doctor on Monday. I'll try to work up the courage to say something then. I'm a chicken though, and I don't want to whine. I also don't want to look for a pill to solve all my problems. Ok, this subject is a whole 'nother post.

Dos is stirring in the swing. Bug is sniffling from a bad cold but reading quietly to herself in her bed. Grinch has gone to his parent's house to convalesce (they're out of town, so he can moan and groan in peace) He's caught a nasty case of the bug's creeping crud. This is a tough day, but I'm ok. Everyone has survived through nap time and that's all I can ask. We'll get through the afternoon, evening and do it all over again tomorrow. One day at a time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Million Dollar Question....or something like that

My understanding of my company's maternity leave rules was a little off. Off by two weeks, apparently. I got the news this morning in a terse and somewhat confusing e-mail. It made me panic. "What? When? How am I supposed to...? I don't want to...." And lots of other unfinished statements like that. A lot of four letter words, too. In several languages. Yeah, I'm a little keyed up these days.

I have to call HR to sort it all out, but it looks like they win and I lose two weeks. I've been sitting here for hours (ok, shuffling around in my pajamas, nursing Dos, playing with the Bug and serving up lunch. still. figuratively "sitting.") trying to figure out: do I really want to go back?

After the tears cleared from my eyes, I spun around in my chair to see the Bug reading a book to her stuffed animals. All sweetness, rainbows and love, love, love. "Isn't this worth it?" I asked myself, falling in love with my daughter all over again. "Isn't this better than working overnights and being tired all the time and all the frustration that goes along with work?"

About 45 minutes later, I was ready to put my head in the oven over Dos' non-stop grunting combined with the Bug's repeated insistance that her baby sister does NOT have thumbs and was NOT trying to suck them, wwaaaaaahhhh! "Yes," I thought. "I definitely DO want to go back to work. Tomorrow."

I've been a little crazy since Dos was born. Ok, a LOT crazy. Some dark and scary thoughts have been creeping in here and there. But one thought that is not so dark, and is sometimes comforting is: "I could do this for a couple of years. I could be a stay-at-home-mom and be completely comfortable with it. I'd make dinner and cookies and sew and take my girls places and it would be a lot of work but....I could do it."

Then someone refuses to eat an apple or spits up on my new jeans and I want cry all over again because being a grown up is hard and being a Mommy is even harder and why didn't I marry for money instead of love? Boo hoo hooo.

Could you do it? No matter what you do. If you work, could you stay at home for a couple of years to take care of your kids if your budget allowed? If you stay at home, could you go to work on a crappy schedule at a job you're not sure you love anymore to help your family afford private school and some much needed extras?

I don't get many comments, but I sure could use some now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Trying....Really, Really Trying

I now know why my mom was always so crabby and tired looking. She had SEVEN kids to look after. I have two and daily I have to stop myself from driving to the airport, going to the Delta counter and saying, "I don't care where it goes. I don't care how much it costs. The next flight out? Put me on it."

I don't know why it's so hard. The girls are healthy and relatively happy. I say relatively because I don't really know how happy the bug is after a day of being snapped at by me. Sometimes she deserves it. Usually she doesn't. I try so hard not to snap, but it happens anyway. "NO! Do NOT do that! Er! Argh! Bah!"

Trying to keep the bug entertained one cold, rainy morning last week, I got out the paints and paintbrushes. She was in heaven and occupied for 20 whole minutes! Awesome! She moved on to fingerpainting! Fantastic! Until....she found out how cool it sounds when paint covered hands are squished together. Cool to a two-year-old. To Mommy's sleep deprived, over stressed, likely depressed, anxious ears it sounded REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING.

I tried to ride it out. "She's exploring her world. She's exploring her world." I told myself over and over again. Gritted my teeth. Clamped my eyes shut. Hummed "Shoot that Poison Arrow" over and over again. I couldn't take it. "BUG! STOPIT! Argh!" She was surprised, but nodded with a knowing look. ("Yes....mommy is dangerously close to an act of violence. I shall reluctantly, but wisely, end this task post-haste.")

I feel like a horrible person because I can't seem to get the hang of this. A baby needs my attention. So does a toddler. I help one and the other cries or accidentally destroys something. It seems so easy for other moms. And I feel like I'm doing it all so wrong that I shouldn't be doing it at all.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What's Ahead for the Tag Team

When the Grinch and I set out to be tag team parents, we did it knowing that we might fail. We might be stretched too thin, miserable, sleepless, hating life, each other and not taking proper care of the Bug. We did it knowing that we might have to go with Plan B. Problem was, there was no Plan B.

We jumped into the tag team parent game without a backup plan. No backup daycare or nanny to call on. No idea of whether we could live on one income. We figured we'd come up with a Plan B if and when we needed it. Luckily, the tag team worked out pretty well.

Until now.

My work schedule has changed by an hour. Just one measly hour, but it's enough to throw our finely tuned schedule into chaos. If I work an hour later, it's an hour later that Grinch will get into work, an hour later that HE has to stay. 1.) the later hours DON'T work for his business and 2.) Grinch's office is in a high crime neighborhood. The later he stays, the more likely it is that something bad could happen to him.

So, the Tag Team parents need to take on another team member. We're looking into hiring a nanny or sitter for three mornings a week. It sounds easy enough, but we're having no luck. We don't even feel that good about it. "Are you comfortable with leaving a three-month-old with a sitter?" asks Grinch. "No, are you?" I say. "No." Then why are we doing it?

Because we want to add on to our house and can't afford to do it on one income. Because we want to buy a second car. Because we want to be able to afford to send both kids to private school, even though we live in a very good public school district. Because we want to be able to take our kids on vacations once or twice a year.

In other words, we're looking to continue this stupid schedule and incur the added expense of a sitter because we're a couple of idiots.

My maternity leave ends in April. That's our deadline. We have to find a sitter by then or...I'm not even sure what happens then. One of us quits our jobs? (We've both said, with varying degrees of conviction, that we're willing to be stay-at-home parents while the other continues working.)

April seems like a long time away. But it's not and we have some serious work to do.